Only The Resident could pull off a parallel between the Black Plague and all of the turmoils and infectious qualities of relationships. In 2×12 “Fear Finds a Way,” that’s exactly what the show does, and it does it so well. Devon and Irving are inundated with an overcrowded emergency room from flu season. The Resident begins the episode showing viewers just how easy it it is to spread germs by horrifying us with revealing those iridescent little green particles passed from person to person, and from object to object. I don’t know about other viewers but this whole sequence made me want to Lysol my entire house. And myself.
One of my favorite parts of the show is how it’s constantly bringing familiar faces back – faces that seem inconsequential at the time, but somehow always end up a significant part of the show. In this case, we were reintroduced to Meg Mullins (Dot-Marie Jones), a corrections officer from Nic’s short time in prison. Meg ends up in the emergency room claiming that there’s something going on with her eye, when she breaks up a fight in an agitated and impatient ER. Once she polices the emergency room, Meg begins to struggle and looks as if she’s going to faint. Devon discovers a severe bloodshot eye and irritated rash on her skin. Meg and Sam (Michael Rady) become the two most highlighted patients at Chastain because of the severity and onset of their symptoms. They also seem to be the two that reveal so much about relationships.
Meg and Sam both end up in quarantine and place the hospital on a high alert because of severe flu-like symptoms that no one can diagnose immediately. Conrad, Nic, and Dr. Shaw work together to perform tests and to discover who “patient zero” is, to prevent the spread of a severe infectious disease. Dr. Shaw is recruited to help out at Chastain by Dr. Bell who is eager to clear out the overcrowded hospital in exchange for two ultrasound machines. I’ll give Alec credit: he can negotiate. The ultimate horrifying diagnosis: the Black Plague.
The Fear That Plagues Us
In what appears to be this adorable gesture, Conrad walks Nic into an unknown place with hands over her eyes to reveal that he has asked a favor of a real estate agent to show them a gorgeous apartment before it’s actually on the market. He spouts off all of the positive aspects to the place: it’s close to Chastain, they can afford it because they’d only be paying one rent, and it has a yard to raise chickens. (Never thought Conrad to be the chicken type, but okay.) The whole scene appears adorable and screams grand, romantic gesture that some women might swoon over and throw their panties at men for. No judgement from me; however, Nic Nevins looks around this place in sheer horror disguised as a pleasantly polite smile and demeanor.
For as strong and as fearless as Nic presents herself to be, there is an underlying fear that drives and haunts her. Nic Nevins is afraid. With the revelations of their past issues and losses and the constant reminder of a dependent sister, I can completely empathize why Nic is afraid to commit and to move forward with things just seeming to settle and be comfortable. I realize how unpopular of an opinion this will be, judging by some of the Twitter banter, but as sweet as Conrad’s gesture was, you do not make such a bold move like presenting a perfect apartment to a woman like Nic, without having a freaking conversation about it first. Nic values her own worth, her independence, her ability to make her own choices, and her freedom. You don’t present these things to Nic. You have a conversation and let her decide on such a big decision with you. You give a woman like Nic Nevins a voice. Conrad, of course, senses how uncomfortable she is.
Through most of the episode, viewers are tortured with the very clear and obvious tension in the room between Nic and Conrad. When Meg asks how they are doing, there is an awkward and polite response about doing great. Conrad later reveals to Meg that he thinks he’s screwing up the whole ‘relationship thing’ when Meg is talking about how she’d love to call her ex-girlfriend as her symptoms persist. Meg insists Conrad figure out his issues because Nic is a keeper.
After some more cold banter and Nic exposes herself to the unknown flu that Meg and Sam are being quarantined for, Conrad makes another decision on his own to turn down the apartment. Again, Nic looks annoyed and disappointed. Honestly, I don’t blame her because there’s nothing worse than having a big, bold decision flashed in your face and before you can even think clearly about it, the big, bold decision is taken away from you before you even have a chance of making your own decision. Again, give her a voice. Come on, Conrad. This is Nic Nevins. Let her make a damn decision on her own.
Meanwhile, Devon has his own realizations while talking to the other severe patient, Sam who claims he has experienced love at first sight. Devon clearly thinks of his short-lived affair with Julian – the still very missing QuoVadis rep. Because of Devon’s rapport with Sam, Conrad and Devon are able to put the missing puzzle pieces together and realize that Sam’s new-found love, Sue is actually patient zero. Conrad and Devon theorize that Sue probably obtained the Black Plague from fleas in Yosemite National Park.
After a long day of exposing herself to the Black Plague, Nic goes to Conrad’s apartment where they finally have it out after a long day of all the things unsaid. Conrad asks for honesty and Nic reveals that she really just wants things to stay the way they are. Conrad accuses Nic of not having anything left to fix in him and therefore thinks that she has moved on emotionally. Oh, Conrad. And with that, Nic bids Conrad ‘goodnight’ and leaves.
As much as I wanted to pick up my TV in a very Hulk-like fashion and throw it across the room at the sight of them in turmoil, I know Nic really needs this space right now. Again, I’m going to share another unpopular opinion here but I think Nic needs to go throw this and find her way back to Conrad. She really needs to figure this out on her own, and realize that her wanting to be with Conrad is real and not just her not letting go of the past. I have faith in CoNic. I think they truly belong to one another and compliment the other perfectly. I have faith she will be forced to face her fears. I just hope that she figures it out before they take this whole Dr. Medicine-In-A-Van story-line too far. I have faith in the writing. The writers never have really failed us before.
By far, my most favorite story-line this episode was the one showcasing the power couple of network television: Mina and August (what?!), aka AJ Austin. After gifting his surgeries away like a surgical Santa Claus, Mina is forced to work with Dr. Nolan (Michael Hogan) on what would have been AJ’s surgery. This sends Mina on a mission when she misses working with her mentor. Mina begins testing the QuoVadis heart valves with a lab tech,and after several tests, they conclude that the QuoVadis devices are faulty. They cannot handle the heart activity of young, active patients.
Mina confronts AJ with her findings. She addresses him as August (I guess she means business) and tells him that Bradley’s death was not his fault.
“You are a God.”
Well, that’s quite the compliment coming from Mina, but AJ is still hesitant to believe Mina. He says that he would have done anything to work with his mentor, Abe Benedict. She tells him that Benedict is wrong and that he’s being stubborn by not listening to her.
And in quite possibly the most epic scene that they have ever graced us with, Mina and AJ enter a restaurant to discover Dr. Abe Benedict (Mike Pniewski) and his wife. Mina is hesitant about where this conversation is going but when she realizes that AJ is confronting Benedict about his partnership and pay off from QuoVadis, she happily takes a seat next to Dr. Austin. AJ praises Mina and her ferocity, her drive to always do the right thing and for realizing what is important in medicine. After revealing that he knows Benedict put a payout over their professional relationship and friendship, AJ exits the table by callously saying, “See you around, Abe.” This is after AJ calls his mentor ‘disappointing’. This scene was a game changer for AJ. He chose Mina.
And did you see it? Did you see AJ escorting Mina out of the restaurant by placing his hand on her back. I sure did. That’s the power couple of the century right there.
QuoVadis seems to have a very clear modus operandi. After Bell’s assistant, Grayson (Radek Lord) discovers that QuoVadis had past dealings with Jacksonville General, Bell tells him to dig deeper. He wants to know who Page had worked with and what device Page was pushing at Jacksonville General. Grayson researches the partnership throughout the episode and discovers that the CEO that was once working with Gordon Page is now deceased after jumping off of a building 10 months ago.
Will Bell suffer the same fate if he rejects his deal with Page? I’m still holding out hope that Julian Booth will be back seeking revenge for all of the horrible wrongdoings QuoVadis is spreading around the medical community.
- Irving and Nurse Jessica are hilarious. I love that the writers find a way put their weird, little ship in episodes. Even if it’s simply a germ infested hand-print on her butt.
- The Bell/Personal Assistant scenes used to annoy me to the point of not even watching but like everything else in The Resident that makes me question the writing, they always win me over. Grayson and Bell are this adorable little distraction to all the chaos swarming around Chastain. I cracked up laughing when Grayson wiped down the tablet for Bell.
- Maybe it’s because I started watching You on Netflix, but Sam’s profession of love at first sight weirded me out. Perhaps, I’m overthinking this whole plot.
- #TheOutbreakHospital. Clever.
- I like AJ teaching young med students. There’s something refreshing about a teacher actually telling you to rely on your gut.
- I also love Mina on a mission. She saved AJ from himself in this episode.
- Nic’s just sharing everything with Dr. Van. Apparently her prison time won’t scare him away.
- August?! Surprised by that. Also, clearly something only Mina could get away with.
- “The yin to my yang.” AJ describes Mina to Benedict. My heart.
- That hand on the back. I love Mina so much. And clearly so does, AJ Austin.
- I foresee an episode with little Henry very soon. Hopefully his device is not as poorly made as the heart valves.
- Conrad and Nic are breaking my heart, but I’m going to hold my head high. I have faith in these writers. They always come through.
The Resident airs on Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.